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Friday, November 30, 2007


Is it possible to knock off 930 miles in **DECEMBER???**

The sun will come out... Tomorrow!
(But be gone by noon, followed by freezing rain and rain and rain and rain)...

Let's chase it down!

Fanny pack came back
Where did I put my wallet?
Must get organized :)

I do not enjoy
Not knowing where my stuff is
Fanny Pack Come Back!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Encapsulate ears
Capture the warmth of my breath
Sweet balaclavas!

(I was wearing two.) - the "ethics of transportation."

The last minute or two are the ones I like the best; I think the message is, alas, simply as foreign to most folks as oh, the Chicago winter bike snippet was last night to teh Weather Channel staff... but at least the voices are getting out there. It didn't actively inspire me until it showed snippets of New York in a snowstorm and the way people come out and actually talk to each other and interact, etc... and proposed the idea that hey, that could be NORMAL.
Thus, not a novelty-caused camaraderie... a natural state of cohesiveness; simply a much higher daily level of solidarity and the happiness that accompanies that. Let's face it, the Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted longer than a snowstorm. Hmmm... we do get compassion fatigue - but that's the 'chipping in for people who are far away and suffering." Is the secret to combatting compassion fatigue getting more psychological (tho' I definitely think there are hormones involved) reward by being actually involved... in a way that's integrated into life instead of sucking away from it (and therefore, perhaps, separating compassion from our "real lives.")

Breathing tip for balaclavas - make a small exit hole and blow out through your mouth to keep all that warmth from building up and getting nasty :) Ed Kieser says it's 23; 21 at Willard; my bicycle thermometer says 17 (it says 29 when it's above freezing, too, so I'm inclined to believe the more official measures). Went to three layers (wickers, sweats and goretex) and it was peachy. Short one cannondale glove so I didn't layer but that was fine, too, especially since the furnace kicked in at 5:55, before the fingers got cold.
Two or three other cycles out there.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Saw my very own (BEfore I donated to the bike coop) virulent orange Cannondale back rack, with its tell-tale red Rube GOldberg made-by-Clyde "fender" (My high-mileage, high-knowledge frugal friend took scissors to an old plastic oil container (as in the quart kind... why don't we have a term for it?) and bolted it to the back of the thing so that it sticks out a few inches which was necessary today. I didn't see whether or not the bike had other fenders (I just gave the rack, not on a bike - it was on the red bike that went Xtra).
Had the weather channel on with the sound down, looked up adn thought "oh, one of those little side stories... what a funky lookin' guy... oh, wait, those are *bicycle wheels* in the background... and found the remote and got it rolling... and apparently it was a Chicago bike place (shop?) extolling the virtues of cold weather cycling :) THose folks in Atlanta had some technical questions and said stuff like "well, that's what they *say...*" (and Jim Cantore wanted the guy's weird glasses).
Now to go long my 21.2 miels for the day...

the quest for 10,000

This is a purely pragmatic verbal exercise. Time permitting, I shall log my last weeks' inchings towards a yearly total mileage of 10,000.

There is nothing magical or worthwhile about 10,000 miles. In fact, should hte pursuit conflict with something, that goal will be the first to go. The More IMportant Goals are to stay fit and promote cycling and maybe catch up to Howard, though I can always say "I didn't want to further damage his frail male psyche" :-D . He's about 340 miles ahead right now :)

Analysis: 981 miles to go. Okay, I"ve already done 12 of those today and the commute home will be 7 more. I should have it down under 940 by the first of the month.

Psychological strategy: "stay ahead" (psychologically speaking). For a 1000 mile month, I have to average 331/3 miles a day for 30 days. So! I'm a day ahead even if I haven't ridden at all... and with an extra sixty I'm almost three days "ahead." And hey, it's a five-weekend month. The fact that it's supposed to be pouring all day Sunday doesn't matter 'cause I'll be at the LIB meeting. So I'll have to make up for it Saturday (when it'll be 18 degrees)

Seen from blocks behind
What's That Attention Grabber ?!?
Blinking helmet light.

Got another testiimonial last night from MS. Landreth, who descrbed seeing something bright and blinking "*blocks* ahead of us!" and then getting closer and seeing it was me. I'd say "everybody go get one," but:

Will this be just more
glaring visual assault
if novelty ends?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Crisp November air
Smiling, headwind, pedal hard
cheeks blush panting pink

(now, can I remember to do this every day?)

Yesterday I waxed non-vehicular in a moment of opportunistic exploitation of empty pavem3ent. Raining and 33 degrees, the construction crews were absent from Bradley Ave. It's almost completely paved now. Just cones separate it from the traffic bearing lanes, so rather than cross and use the sidewalk I cruised on down ... and was grateful I'd doen the exploration 'cause it was *nice* to do it on the night ride back, where I was making a right at the end with no competition instead of negotiating across the cones and traffic from a sidewalk disadvantage point.
The backhoes and what have you were back today.
The kirby overpass grand opening has been delayed "due to weather." Snork. December 6 is not to be... what a surprise - there might be days where it isn't above 40 and dry in NOvember and December! It's not as if we had an inclement summer.
Saw 12 or 13 bicycles on the way in today (unlike yesterday where I saw none), including a 7500FX with fenders *and* aerobars and a soul in shorts.
I prob'ly woulnd't have been *cold* in shorts... but my skin dessicates to ash in a heartbeat. I *like* layers. The Wickers are great - like unto perhaps three layers in one! It was tights, wickers, and the flimsiest holy sweats (on the grounds that I dind't want my outmost layer to be "underwear") on the bottom, wickers and sweats and one jacket on top and the jacket wasn't fastened.
Now I gotta go change that stuff into something less homeless-looking 'cause I"m at work :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Shortest ride of my consecutive-days on Wednesday, because I only went to the Annex to park the bike and got a ride out to the rental place. Then I stopped at Schnuck's for provisions and it had switched from drizzle to drench, so I was damp just from the walk in. "You're not on a bike, are you?"
"I've rented a car, to ride to Maryland."
Regarding this interchange: Yes, I was wearing my gore-tex bicycle rain gear (jacket and bib pants), with reflective yellow ankle strap, but she still needed to "speak bicycle" to recognize that... it's progress when the lifestyle's recognizable ;) (Now, whether she realized that what I said meant that I *would* have been on the bike if it weren't a special occasion...)
Time to shop!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you saying THANKs giving or thanks GIV ing? (Or are you a person who doesn't hear the accents?)

Tuesday I'll be singing in our concert at the church on the corner of SPringfield and Wright (Something Disciples... no, that's *not* the exact name... but that's an intriguing thought :) :) ) - so go there 'cause we start at 7:00, after you've gone to Champaign City Hall. Can Champaign figure out that 'paying it forward' is a good idea for transportatin and planning? Let's add our voices, SATB or otherwise :) (that'll be me, the bisectional one, sneaking back and forth between alto and soprano...)

You are invited to attend an Open House on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Champaign City Hall, 102 North Neil Street.

The City of Champaign has concluded the process to create the City's new Transportation Master Plan. At the Open House the public can learn and provide input on the draft plan. Immediately following, the plan will be presented to City Council at a Study Session meeting.

"Champaign Moving Forward" is the Transportation Master Plan for the City of Champaign and its projected growth area. "Champaign Moving Forward" will become an element of the Comprehensive Plan and will replace the existing Transportation Plan developed in 1992. The Plan creates a vision for a multi-modal transportation system that helps achieve the City's goals of sustainable growth. The Plan answers questions such as,

● What transportation improvements are needed to serve the future growth of Champaign?
● What are the options for funding needed transportation improvements?

Recent growth in the City of Champaign has created a need for several improvements in the transportation system. As the City continues to grow, the City's transportation needs grow as well. Additionally, the rising costs of energy are causing residents to question how they can more economically travel throughout the community.

"Champaign Moving Forward" calls for a balanced transportation system that offers choices for travel. The plan recommends policies and actions for the City to consider for successful implementation. The transportation choices we make today will affect not only where we live, work, and play, but our community's health, economic vitality, quality of life and affordability.

The draft plan can be reviewed in its entirety at Materials that will be presented at the open house will also be posted on the website and visitors are able to leave comments for Staff electronically as well.

For additional information on the Transportation Master Plan and the Open House on November 27, please contact Rob Kowalski, Assistant Planning Director at 403-8800 or

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I have reserved a rental car for the morrow. I think it's time for a rental car company to figure out the imminent trend. The marketing ploy: "Just the car you need!" As in: perhaps your co-habiting familial-type unit could use one fewer automobile if you a: used other transportation for the short stuff and b: rented for specific events (like when all eight of you had to go to the bingo tournament or RAGBRAI). You can rent *exactly* the car you need, so that you own *only* what you need, for double use of the word 'just.'
A marketing question would be wehther to promote savings in our CONSUME CONSUME society - it could be done either as a social shift ... *or* because it would enable a person do SPEND on other things. Yea, that's the ticket - something *like* the "priceless" theme of credit card sales. Can you picture the images: pouring gasoline into a tank at a convenience store, with a parked car with the engine running and fumes emitting near enough to imbue us with negativity... perhaps an image of deserts and oil fields in the background (but somehow convey Middle East as opposed to TExas for fear of waxing Unamerican?) ... "Fuel this.. or ...Fuel yourself!" (Or, "who are you fueling?") and have an image of someone dining at a fine restaurant... maybe cash in on the "chic cyclists" theme and show fine fashion that's rideable. (Maybe with valet cycling parking?) (Digression: What's in *your* litter box?) ... or camping in a fine fine *green* place.
Or it could simply be a green theme, tho' then it would make sense that there would be the odd hybrid to rent.
There could be "frequent renter" miles or a discount on insurance the third time out for people who don't own cars...
And, OF COURSE, a vital aspect of this is promoting those other forms of transportation by gearing YOURS TRULY out in a bicycle to ride to Colorado next summer, because we'd do it knowing that we could rent a car for the drive back, or we'd have a support crew in a rental.
Hertz ? Enterprise ? I wanna hear from you... Have your agent call my agent...

Monday, November 19, 2007

45 degrees going in and it's supposed to get to 60-some. Honestly lost count of the bicycles - at least 12 - on the way in. Three or four of 'em were sidewalk warriors, though reasonably safe ones... but I did pass 'em several times 'cause they were creative at the stop lights and I wasn't. (Same with the two ladies jogging ;)) Made me wonder about the impact on traffic if the sidewalk thumpers all came out on to the streets. Would it slow the cars down more? Make pedestrians happier?

The Bicycle Master Plan got covered on WILL but I was compelled to "contact WILL news" simply 'cause they *had* to introduce it with something like "six months ago the city of Urbana sought public input on their outline of bike paths." Of course, that evokes the image of separate paths thatjust don't really make sense in most places in this town. FOrtunately Brandon Bowersox described the plan's goals in some detail, including that everyone should be within half a mile of a safe route so they can "ride to school or work." That's right, more than "pedal around with the kiddos on Saturday morning at Meadowbrook," *get to work.*

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rode all over the place today - to Tolono twice, then to St. Boniface with a few loops in between. The back tire still has a slow leak, I discovered 88 miles out. The road morph did okay but the knowledge that I only had 70 pounds in the tire slowed me down afterward :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gotta revive this one: "How to Give Up Cycling"

A little chilly this morning. I wore the "wickers" thermal top I got from Sierra Trading Post. I think it is quite toasty. I ordered two more, wondering if the indication that "small" is for sizes 4-6 is size deflation, because it fits me and folks, ain't no way my measuremetns match the ones they list (Just ask Bali).
AFter yesterday's dropping of the quarters (twice), today I found one.
Did I mention that my keys found me? Or are trying to? It will be rully nice to have the keys to my office, and something else that I am forgetting except when I can't do it because I don't have my keys... oh, yea ;) it'll be nice to *have* the grocery store discount tags back.
I've been riding on the newly painted bike lanes through campus... the pavement coudl use a little improvement (but that's a lot more involved than painting), but I like the way they fade out politely near the intersections. Can't help but think that it's a subtle education for riders and drivers both. Yea, I have mixed feelings about being relegated to the margins but that's at least an arguable point, as opposed to the Old Way with the bike paths plowing through bus stops.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's supposed to be the "last mild day" for a while. 50 this a.m. Breeze from the west and I had bills to mail and to switch out bikes so I just did a loop at the beginning and end.
Pulled up to Lincoln as a man was trudging across it with a briefcase. I eyed the traffic to my left and started easing out myself and noticed ... he was walking back. I smiled, wondering if he was having to backtrack or was rethinking his plans or... and heard the clink of... yea, a quarter, in the middle of the road. PUlled over and he'd turned to pick it up for me... one of those "can't do that in a car" moments... except
... Prospect and Church, by teh Pavilion, here's this lady conversing with somebody on the street... except she's still driving forward. Now, I assume she knew that pedestrian was there, but I asked myself: are the behaviors that make the bike commute enriching and day-brightening exaclty the same kinds of behaviors that are "distracting" and dangerous when driving?
This is your free-writing assignment for the day, students. Compose an essay and submit it at the end of the class period. Don't forget to check your spelling :-) )

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


But this article at the CBF site raises an interesting issue about our desensitization to automotive carnage. Major media when horses are struck... not so when it's a mom and kid. The comments are intelligent, too.


And while I'm cruising over at cycle-licious... welp, the price tag will preclude my purchase of the "POLITE" T-shirt, but it hits me at both ends. It could only enhance the 'official' appearance when I"ve got that high-blinking red light... and it would say "Did you learn your phonics?" to all those "I don't need to sound it out" folks :) :)

Rode in via Bondville Road today. So many cars come in on Race Street! A boo-boo there would snarl up the morning right proper-like! Alas, I could tell that yesterday I rode on wet slimy sloppy roads... yes, I will clean that chain that I could hear grinding away at the road gristle working its way in... felt really good to make the wheels on the bike go round and round and the muscles in the legs do the same. (Yea, for a while they wanted the harmony of clipless. I told 'em I'd try to get those power grips on and we'd see... first I gotta find 'em again...) 42 degrees - H - 316 at the start.
Still contemplating double metric Saturday... even if I've got that nasty old back tire on the Trek for the trainer to ride into shreds. I was pleased to successfully make the switch (okay, and I *knew* it would be easier to put back on than the Bontrager Hard Case tire...).

And this just in from Cycle-licious - so you're thinking it's not practical to promote cycling in a cold place like Illinois? (CBF to the contrary) Ontario has exempt cycling stuff (under $1000) from sales tax for the purpose of encouraging people to use those things. Some commenters aren't satsified 'cause it's not more global and yea, favors the Big Box sales. I dunno, I can get a nice bike at my biek shop for under a grand...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Found on road: Flash Drive. Considered whether owner might go back for it on path... decided more likely it would get blown away, rained on, etc. Took to school. Folders titled "Mid-term project." Files without owner names. Powerpoints with group memebr names. ONe name in common. Attempted contact.
IT's an accounting major so perhaps the odds are better that s/he'll have backup files? It's a cute flash drive, too. Tiny little gigabyter.

This morning I confused myself (it isn't hard). I slept in a little longer than I usually can get away with if I want to be out at 7:30 and ride the long way in. However, since it was 58 degrees, and I'd set stuff out, I was ready well before that. I kept trying to figure out what I was forgetting, so I didn't get out until 7:40 which prob'ly still would have been okay, but I went straight in and then peeled off 5 laps around campus and worked up a proper lather, but still had time to clean up and change clothes (emanating waves and clouds of endorphins).
The rains paused for long enough for me to sneak down to CHampaign CYcle - with its new outsourced website worthy of checking out! No, they don't have anything like the thingybobber that holds my hokey spokes on... but I got advice about washers. Yes, I did get a copy of the "escape map" with the assorted loops just out-of-town, because this Thursday we'll be gathering to work on the "bike-friendly routes" map for C-U.
H-316 this a.m. - going to have to go a little extra to keep it that way. HOpefully the rains will abate by the end of Chorus - radar says it will. THe Goddess Prevails :) :)


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sigh. I am finding more ways to put velcro on backwards than I thought possible. However, I got Woody on the wall behind my desk. You can put the fuzzy side on the left and then the sticky side on the right and mix them up on the wall. You can put the adhesive part on the fuzzy part instead of hte sticky part. Probably a few other ways too, but I've forgotten. Let's see if he sticks up there.

Here's something worth a "tag" for - except I think it might have already been done... but I didn't understand the directions. I wanted to get info on breadmakers (but decided to just make pan de muerto by hand and, minor miracle / beginner's luck, it worked!) ... so I figured out how to have Google send me an "alert" every time bread maker shows up in a blog.
It's pretty entertaining. One in oh, 8 so far has been a non-blog link to sites of undesirable (or highly desirable, depending on your perspective) nature, and the others are of that randomness that I am not sure I can stand to stop, unless it's to pick some other term and just see what happens. It's most fun with an innocuous term like 'bread maker.' Still, I might have to try it with, oh, Xtracycle or Gazelle :)

Here's an article about family cycling in oregon... featuring an Xtra :)

10 cycles on my way in, tho' the first five were on my little roundabout to switch from the Trek to the Xtra. Nice to have the spare keys in my pocket again (especially since the back door's locked again). It's Thursday so an early day, so that might be why the lower number.

Okay, okay... I will (sometime today) find my routes to work and get them over on the side so I can tell people where to go to find them :) I *think* they're also over to the site ...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I share the bemusement expressed at cycle-licious at the Pearl Izumi marketing approach. Look carefully- the script at the bottom of the tank reads "Satan's Energy Drink." Hmmm.... I completely sympathize with the sentiment that evil is done in the name of oil, but Pearl Izumi's market would seem to indulge in a lot of that...
I was in the middle of posting this when I got in four totally gratuitous miles "thanks" to the fire alarms going off.
Don't know whether it's because of our 'boil order' evacuation or memories of Virginia Tech or not, but it seemed ot me people filed out in good form with much less of previous alarm "um, duh, like, what are we supposed to do about that?" Nobody seemed particularly *alarmed,* though, and all the comments I heard were to the tune of "what a day for a fire drill." I had left the tights on under my skirt so I tucked the skirt in and rode around campus a few times.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The stinkinesses of life did not magnify on each other and I even kinda sorta got out of the middle of them (so what does that make "being centered?" because it was all about *not* being the center) and could get past looking for returns on investments. It was colder going home and I had to remember to pedal despite the tailwind. THen there was that two blocks by the soccer fields...

A tailwind is like
being cuddled in the night
Headwind? Breathless love!!!!

Standard Time is a *little* disorienting, especially 'cause I don't go in 'til nine and it's that "warm before the storm" stuff even though there won't be precipitation, just a blustery blast sometime this afternoon followed by Honestly Seasonal Winter is Really Coming weather which I have Brought Layers for and therefore anticipate a FUN ride home, but it'll be late. It was about 50 when I left so I was toasty.
Might get midday mileage if my keys are where I hope they are. I was trying to "little princess" my way out of the woebegone blues this morning... and between endorphins and the silly dust-spewing construction that stopped just before I pulled up and the kind soul that made the doors open for me, have succeeded (welp, at least until the endorphins wear off... thank heavens for hormones but man, I wish fervently I could control them in myself and others ;)).

Sunday, November 04, 2007

IT's windy today, but that's not why I"m not doing an afternoon ride - I'm going to be doing some more moving. STill got to ride to church and will head out to Savoy later - time to change the batteries on the string on the snapdeck, and hopefully that will return that string to working order. As the batteries failed, the lights woudln't turn off. I can still just pull the batteries instead of hitting the switch.
I've seen some fun-looking things in catalogs - solar poinsettias and strings of light that have a solar charger. They're over twenty bucks, though, and are "auto off/on," and they're not designed to go on a bicycle. I did some googling and found a "" ... which I suspect was a marketing avenue that failed, since the site's a 404, but the description included "bicycle."
It's been fun reading the Xtracycle Yahoo Group forum where we've been asked to answer questions about our Xtracycle purchase experience. Everybody *on the forum* with the exception of myself said they fell in love with the Xtracycle when they found it online. THey were almost all - including myself - already fond of transportational cycling, and to varying degrees utilitarian cycling. Cagers were not seduced outright, in other words, and I"m thinking my premise that had I not been having a ridiculously slow time at wokr and therefore spent about ten times as I would have surfing their site, I would have not gotten past the "that looks kinda cool, but it's obviously for a small niche market of Californians iwth too much discretionary income." I know the tipping point was the - I figured if I was flushing money away on something that wouldn't enhance my cycling experience, at least I was flushing it to a good place.
H-316 today.. silly Saturday centuries! 10K - 1549 . Tomorrow's supposed to be blustery so I don't think I"ll go the long way in the a.m.
Got busted for doing gratuitous campus laps by an English professor, but in the context of that being perfectly comprehensible behavior; she'd run laps around campus herself. THere's something to be said for a culture where exercise is normal and I'd love to do a spontaneous survey of Parkland vs. oh, other community colleges, the U....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Woohoo! It's beautiful out there. (It's 1:00) going to go for a spin and then get back and continue this "bring the computer back into being" project - because it's back with new hard drive but nothing else... good thing it's the weekend with the extra hour! Took the last two days off riding (except the commute) but I"m only planning on a 20 mile spin or so... but who knows :)
Lots of bikes out this past week even though it is officially cold enough so you have to plan for it. This could mean people are out next week too, when it's that little bit colder... and the next? My sierra trading post gear came so I've got a couple more balaclavas, and I found a nest of Lost STuff in plain sight in my closet. (Keys, power rebate and tire rebate still AWOL though ...)
GOing to play with Camtasia, too... and of ocurse new hard drive means I get to go get the 30-day trial versions of the Adobe stuff while I look for my disks of my version.
Two and a half bags of cans from October to take to the Goat. Maybe I"ll buy a lottery ticket with the proceeds...

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Hmmmm, I might have found something else to try in the Quest for A Wallet (that resists getting lost). A truly tacky plastic thingy... oh, but it's waterproof and the site says it's made from 100% recycled materials, in this country even.
Howsomever... seems they do crack. And with our cold & hot weather... i can just feel it getting brittle... the quest continues. (And anybody seen my keys?)

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